JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 4, 2003) - East Tennessee State held on to defeat Davidson 3-2 Saturday afternoon in ETSU's home opener from Brooks Gym. The Buccaneers escaped with a 15-12 victory in game five to ultimately clinch their first Southern Conference match of the season.
"We showed that we have some heart today," said Buccaneer head coach Lindsey Devine. "Davidson is a very good team, but it didn't matter who we were playing today -- we just needed a win to build some confidence."
ETSU (3-13, 1-3 SoCon) claimed game one 31-29 after trailing by as many as seven points, but the Wildcats evened the match with a 30-24 victory in game two. Davidson (8-11, 1-2 SoCon) struggled offensively in game three with just seven kills, as ETSU went on to win by a score of 30-26. However, the Wildcats came back strong in order to force a game five, with a 30-24 win in game four.
Freshman Kelsey Sherich (Ogallala, Neb.) led the Bucs with a match-high 17 kills, followed by Lissa Allen (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Karen Freeburg (New Castle, Ind.), who finished with 14 kills apiece. Senior Kate Steidle (Waynesboro, Va.) tallied 11 kills for ETSU with a team-high .242 attack percentage.
Latisha Chapman tallied 14 kills, four block solos, and nine block assists to lead the Wildcats, who notched 19 team blocks on the afternoon. Rachel Gleed contributed 13 kills, while Meredith Lorenz and Jenny Mills added 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Nicole Tonelli registered a team-high 37 assists and four Davidson players ended their day with double-digits in digs.
Defensively, the Bucs were led by freshman Natalie Pittenger's (Gaston, Ind.) career-high 20 digs, while sophomore Kristi Robinson (Knoxville, Tenn.) dished out 60 assists.
"We climbed up another step on the ladder," said Devine. "In one match we proved we could come from behind, maintain leads, and win it in game five. This was a very important victory for this group."
The Buccaneers will try to keep their winning ways going on Sunday, when ETSU hosts a powerful Georgia Southern squad, which is currently undefeated (2-0) in Southern Conference play. Time of the match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in Brooks Gym.